An effort to oust Greene from the ballot could open a new avenue of attack

A judge’s decision to leave an effort to block Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from running for office could open a new avenue of attack against some of the GOP’s most controversial lawmakers.

Experts say it remains to be seen what the outcome of the single decision will be, but such an effort is unlikely to eliminate Greene, or any other candidate, from the ballot. It could, however, give Democrats another opportunity to hit the GOP in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and force lawmakers to testify under oath.

Meanwhile, Republicans warn that this effort could backfire in the future.

While many expressed surprise that the effort got the green light, some Republicans accuse Obama-appointed Judge Amy Totenberg of having liberal leanings that politicized the process.

“The judge is incredibly liberal, so it doesn’t surprise me that she’s doing this, but I was very surprised that they even let this thing go,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Jay Williams.

Totenberg’s decision means Greene will be called to testify on Friday, making her the first member of Congress to testify under oath about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The challenge, which was filed by the group Free Speech for the People on behalf of a group of Georgian voters last month with the office of the Georgian secretary of state, accuses the MP of helping facilitate the riot , which they claim violates a provision of the 14and amendment and renders her ineligible to stand for re-election.

The amendment states that no one may serve in Congress “who, after being sworn in, as a member of Congress.” . . in support of the Constitution of the United States, has engaged in an insurrection or rebellion against it”.

It was ratified after the Civil War in an effort to prevent lawmakers who had fought for the Confederacy from returning to Congress.

Greene filed a lawsuit earlier this month asking the judge to declare the law voters were using to challenge Greene’s eligibility to vote “unconstitutional” and block Georgia officials from using it.

Laurence Tribe, professor emeritus of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, argued the case against Greene was well-conceived and is aided by what he called “compelling factual evidence” of his role in the attack.

“Having sworn allegiance to our Constitution, she acted in coordination with co-conspirators close to the defeated President Trump to overthrow the 2020 presidential election and reverse its results,” Tribe told The Hill. “That the result she was looking for was not achieved is irrelevant. His is a paradigmatic case for a judgment of permanent prohibition to again exercise a public function.

Other legal and policy experts wonder if the effort will even take the next step.

“I guess it’s possible, but I certainly wouldn’t bet the farm on it,” said Charles Bullock, a professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

“There is no history about it, and if there is, it would have to go back to the late 1860s,” he continued.

However, the idea was floated in recent history about other characters. Some Democrats, constitutional scholars and democracy advocates quietly explored how the 14th Amendment could disqualify former President Trump from holding public office again because of his role in the attack on the Capitol.

An analysis conducted by The Hill in January found that a dozen Democratic lawmakers have spoken publicly or privately over the past year about how Section 3 of the 14th Amendment might apply to those involved in the insurrection.

Last month, a federal judge blocked a legal challenge to the candidacy of North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn (right). As in Greene’s case, Cawthorn state voters represented by the same group filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections in January, arguing that Cawthorn’s comments in the speech shortly before the uprising violate the 14th Amendment. .

The lead co-lawyer for the 11 voters seeking to block Cawthorn from performing his duties, asked that the decision be overturned on appeal.

“We’ve already seen in North Carolina that it didn’t work, so it’s not clear how it would be different,” GOP national strategist Doug Heye said.

But there remains the question of how these efforts might impact figures like Greene and Cawthorn from a political perspective.

Greene portrayed the decision to bar him from running for office as a personal attack on members of his district by liberal outsiders during an interview with conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson on Fox News Monday.

“These people hate the people in my district so much,” Greene said. “They despise them because they voted for me and sent me to Washington to fight for the things most Americans care about.”

“They hired lawyers from New York who hate people in my district and don’t believe they should have the right to elect who they want to send to Washington,” she said.

Greene then hinted at how the effort could set a precedent for Republicans that would bar Democratic officials from running for office.

“I bet we could round up Republican voters who didn’t like Kamala Harris funding criminal rioters out of jail or Ilhan Omar, or Cori Bush, or Maxine Waters inciting riots,” Greene said. “I think there’s another way to play this game.”

MP’s campaign team tweeted the videos in a thread on Tuesday, wrapping it up with a call to donate to his re-election campaign.

Greene is preparing for his first re-election bid in the staunchly Republican 14th congressional district. Five Republicans lined up to challenge her in the May 25 primary, but Greene’s position and fundraising strength give her a clear advantage.

Democrats reported that one of Greene’s Democratic challengers, Marcus Flowers, outplayed Greene in the first three months of the year. Flowers grossed $2.4 million while Greene raked in less than $1.1 million over the same period.

But any Democrat would have a hard time ousting Greene in a general election. While the seat of Congress has been affected by redistricting, it is still heavily Republican.

In terms of the political impact of the effort to keep Greene out of office, Republicans on all sides say it will only galvanize the already strained conservative base.

But that effort could also put Greene in the position of having to devote time, energy and resources to dealing with the issue. There’s also the question of how the lens of Greene testifying under oath about the January 6 attacks in court could be used against her.

“You can’t ignore it,” said Chuck Clay, a former Republican state senator and Georgia GOP chairman. “So to the extent that she has to respond to explain or spend money on her own behalf, I guess as a tactic there’s some value to that anyway you look at it extending it.”

Greene commented that he had to testify during an interview with a conservative outlet this week, saying she was “forced” on the witness stand.

“They actually put me on the witness stand on Friday. I am the first Republican member of Congress who is going to be forced to testify under oath and defend myself against a lie and something I have never done,” she said.

And while the case is being watched by political circles in Washington and Georgia, others are wondering how much attention voters in the district are actually paying.

“I haven’t received a single phone call about this other than reporters calling me about this. I don’t know if a lot of Republicans are really too worried about this, to be honest with you,” said Williams.

Comments are closed.